Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Yukon Quest and YQ300 Sign-ups Preview Great Racing

19 mushers signed up to run the 1,000 mile 2018Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race on the first day while simultaneously 21 others signed up for the YQ300 miler.  Contestants in both races represent a nice mix of well-known and well-experienced dog drivers as well as up-and-coming rookies and near-rookies.

Let's start with the longer race. The first musher to turn in paperwork on the Yukon side of the border was Rob Cooke, Over the past few years Rob's team of purebred Siberian Huskies has turned many heads in both the Quest and the Iditarod. In Fairbanks, Tok musher and former champion Hugh Neff was first in line. You can see the full roster of day-1 sign-ups on the Yukon Quest website.

My home town of Two Rivers, Alaska is well represented by gifted mushers in both races, including two previous Champions. Matt Hall and Allen Moore both signed up for the 1,000 miler on the first day. Both mushers also have plans to run the 2018 Iditarod.  Ryne Olson, who started her career as a handler in Allen and Aliy Zirkle's SP Kennel and has sinse grown her own team and regularly challenges her giften mentors in various races has also signed up for the long race.

In the 300, Two Rivers will be represented by the only woman thus far in history to win the Yukon Quest, Aliy Zirkle along with up and coming mushers Chase Tingle and Heidi Sutter.

Meanwhile, back at the house....

This summer's major project is construction of a brand new dog box for the truck. I spend most of my last R&R building the basic structure and getting it ready to haul dogs if circumstances require. I'll finish the project on my next R&R and then write more about it.

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